“So, how do you do it?”
This is what a friend asked me while strolling a mall. ‘Alin?’ I answered, ‘ Yung pagtatravel, stressful work environment at pagbablog’, she said. This question actually stunned me for a second because I don’t even know what to answer. Or do I?
Photo Credit to Janine T. Ongsotto
See, I was a school paper editor way back in high school. It was just a hobby then plus it was a choice between Drafting and Journalism class (to which I obviously chose the latter as I am not really into sketching stuffs). It was instilled to me that writing won’t get me far. Hence, during my senior year, I filled up my college entrance forms with business administration related courses thinking that I could land a corporate job in the future.
For both schools that I applied, I have written BS Economics as my first choice, Journalism my second. I am leaving it all to faith that if writing was indeed destined for me, it will be handed on a silver platter. Results came and the good news is, I passed both schools I applied for. The bad news? Journalism will not be my degree.
Don’t get we wrong, I had the best days of my life in college—gained true friends, met my long time beau and joined a few relevant organizations. It was then that I became aware of well-off students being sponsored (by their parents, of course) to have a vacation. I was living independently since I was a junior in the university that I had that unsatisfactory feeling of being envious. Jealous because they can afford to travel at a young age…when I cannot. Back then, being in Puerto Galera was a very huge deal. And did you have that moment when you tell yourself: “Kapag ako nagkapera…”. Yes, I had that one too.
Fast forward to present day. Eight working years and 44 travel destinations later, here I am, still working in Makati. With office politics and my stress level reaching the all-time high from a previous boss, I became very uninspired to go to work. No words can define how lonely I am at that moment. My bf even gave me a puppy as a gift just to lessen the stress that I am having. It worked for a while but then I was miserable again. And for those who’ll ask why I didn’t quit? Like many other corporate employees out there, I also needed the money.
Out of nowhere and maybe thinking that I might get inspired, I started browsing thru my travel pictures. This effort made me smile and like a Eureka moment, I realized I needed to write again. And what is more exciting than to share all about my travels, right?
In a beat, I began reading the how-tos and start-up essentials of blogging. I used WordPress as this platform have an Android App that can be downloaded on my phone. Then I just started writing. I know that there are many of my earlier articles that needs tweaking but I am slowly getting into it.
Honestly, maintaining a blog wasn’t easy. There will be plenty of times that you’ll be lazy and/or just not-in-the-zone to write. Plus, you have to do all those picture watermarking, remembering what transpired that day, etc but I fought over it and tried to publish at least 1 article per week.
Eight months after I started, I was accepted to be a contributor for an online lifestyle magazine, When In Manila. I was so excited and inspired to write more travel + life features for them. Then a month after that, my SoCKKSarGen article was also featured in Rappler. It was more than a tap on the back for me. It humbles me that other people are appreciating my pieces and just maybe, I really do write good sh*t. Haha.
Then I stumbled upon a long (lost) friend, Kach, the other half of the blog Two Monkeys Travel to whom persuaded me to be on a self-hosted travel blogging site. It was a long and numerous chats on how to get started, on what to do and all that stuff. I will be forever grateful to her for pushing me to do beyond what I think I can.
And oh, remember that boss who stressed me out so much? I have to thank her too. If she didn’t emotionally exhausted my whole being, I will NEVER think of writing again. This blog would’ve not exist. In this case, I like to think that life struggles are just unwrapped opportunities. You just need to uncover the good side for you to appreciate its true self.